Whether it’s owning a home to escape the pitfalls of rent, or owning a properly zoned building for cannabis operations, real estate can be extremely profitable for long-term, savvy investors.
In the cannabis industry, real estate is serious business. With banking regulations still up in the air and licensing guidelines being updated continuously, owning property is one of the most effective ways to mitigate risks that come with entering a newly developed sector.
Advantages of Commercial Cannabis Real Estate
For competitive growers, not just any plot of land will do. In particular, cultivators are looking for facilities that come with “light industrial” zoning and have been vacant for several years. In Colorado, a group of investors (Sally Vander Veer, Andy Williams and Pete Williams) flipped a 40,000-square-foot warehouse, where Medicine Man, a local dispensary, was renting near the Denver Airport. After forking out $1 million for initial expenses, the group purchased the property in 2014 for $2.5 million. Now, only two years later, the owners sold the property for $6 million.
“It’s the green boom here in Colorado and real estate is at a premium,” said Veer, co-founder and CFO of Denver-based marijuana cultivator and retailer Medicine Man. “If you own a building that is zoned properly, not including any improvements, it’s worth millions.”
Patti Zanin, a real estate agent in Denver, mentioned that cannabis real estate trends are developing rapidly in the area. It is not unusual for a company to purchase a building, acquire a proper license, add value to the property and sell the entire package to an eager buyer who wants to quickly get established as a cannabis cultivator.
In California, cannabis properties are also in high demand. The demand is so great that CalCann Holdings, a cannabis holding company that owns dispensaries around the state, has shifted their focus from dispensary operations to real estate. In the area, cannabis properties worth $2 million with proper zoning standards are expected to sell for roughly $10 million.
Residential Homes with Marijuana Listings
In Oregon, residential real estate listings are getting an upgrade, thanks to pot plants left behind by previous homeowners. According to Estately, an online real estate services company that includes Multiple Listing Services (MLS), finding homes with marijuana items is becoming increasingly common in the state.
“We’ve seen bongs on shelves or tables occasionally in photos of homes for sale, and we’ve definitely seen some sizable greenhouses that hinted at marijuana production, but only recently have we seen actual plants appearing in listings,” said Ryan Nickum, Estately marketing manager.
The website features a unique “Weed Score” feature, which allows individuals to search through listings close to cannabis businesses. This could be a useful tool for patients who need direct access to a medical dispensary for treatment. Nickum explained that some houses with healthy weed plants could be worth significantly more than properties without the extra perks.